Thursday, June 14, 2012

What I've Learned From Having Two Kids

I was pretty aware that my world was going to change once we brought Landon home. Once Oliver realized he was staying for good and once we were hit with that newborn sleep (or lack thereof) again.

However there were a few other things I didn't realize. We're almost seven months in to this thing and I've learned some new things....This is as much for my benefit as it is for my readers who are planning on having more than one child.

1. Your first child will be a giant when you bring your newborn home. That is, if your first child is a toddler when you have your second. If your first child is of tween age then it's just a given. I was shocked when I came home from the hospital and changed Oliver's diaper for the first time after I had Landon. It felt uncomfortable. I felt like I was changing a grown kid. It was like I left him days before and he was still little and a babyish and I came home a few days later and he was giant-ish. His feet were huge, his hands and arms were huge and he looked so grown up.



2. Whatever is the easiest, is the road you will take. With Oliver I had all the time in the world. It was just him and me. I could take my time and we could learn together. Somethings worked out, others didn't, like nursing. I went back and forth with Landon, but when the time came I went straight for  formula. Now some may disagree and think that nursing is easier, and for them it might be, but for me I knew for a fact it was going to be a struggle.
Same with food. Landon is interested in food now. With Oliver I made all of his food. I started making Landon's, then I bought some from the store. He's not even really interested in the purees, so we're slowly starting Baby Led Weaning. It's much easier than trying to figure out what Oliver wants to eat and feeding a baby at the same time. {because that's a given they will both want to eat at exactly the same time. Always!}

3. That brings me to my next thing. Bottles. My friend asked me how I sterilized my bottles. I told her what we did with Oliver. We washed them all by hand and sanitized them every week, I just did it on the stove with boiling water, because I didn't even realize they made sterilizers for the microwave. With Landon we started washing by hand and then I got smart and threw them in the dishwasher. I'm giving my husband credit for figuring that out! I blame it on sleep deprivation for not thinking of it first. If I can have an appliance wash and sanitize them for me I am going to do it. See number 2 - taking the easiest road.

4. Momma guilt is twice as mean. I struggled with Momma Guilt with Oliver. I felt bad that I gave him formula. It broke my heart when we moved him in his room at a month old. I felt like I took away his childhood when I got pregnant with Landon. But holy crap, it is twice as difficult with two children. I have yet to figure out how to clone myself. So I can play with Oliver while feeding Landon. Or whenever I am taking care of Oliver (getting him dinner or playing with his cars) and Landon decides right then and there that he needs me, I feel bad for Oliver.  It never ends. It's always there in the back of my head making me feel like a royal shit. There I said it.




5. I don't sweat the small stuff. Whenever Oliver did anything, I would immediately jump up and figure out what it was that he needed. Sometimes it was literally nothing. He just wanted to fuss, but I would realize it after the fact. This time with Landon if I am in the middle of making dinner I don't immediately drop what I am doing to tend to him. I know he's not going to break. I know that as long as he is in a safe place he is fine.

6. You grow some balls. If anyone made any comment to me about Oliver I would immediately break down and cry. Sure some of it was postpartum hormones and the other was the fact that I was deathly afraid of screwing my kid up. Plus I was a new mom. I honestly had no clue what I was doing, even if I pretended I did. So if anything was said about him drinking formula. If the bottle was warm or cold enough. Why he didn't have socks on in 90 degree weather you could guarantee that I would question my ability to be a parent and internally beat myself up. Enter Landon. If a person even makes a remark on what he is wearing or not wearing. Eating or not eating you can be sure that I will say something. Having a second child gives your the confidence that you never had with your first. You're a pro now...the fact that your first is still alive is a sign that you must be doing something right.

7. You will have a favorite. I'm not kidding. One day it might be the baby because they are cute and cuddly. They pretty much do what you want them to do, and when your older child is screaming like a wild banchee in the middle of Target, you will love that sleeping baby in the carseat even more.  Then there will be times when the baby won't stop whining and you'll look at your toddler and be so happy they can talk and tell you what it is that they want, because you really suck at playing charades. It changes from day to day, heck from hour to hour depending on who is being the easiest.



8. You get a second chance. Everything that you wish you could of done different with your first, you can with your second. Oliver was moved into his room at a month. It wasn't my choice, he actually slept better in his crib. Ryan has a habit of falling asleep with the TV on (probably from poor sleeping habits as a child) and it would constantly wake Oliver up. So one night I put him in his crib and he slept for five hours. It was the best 5 hours of my life. Granted, I only slept two out of those five hours because I was so anxious that something had happened to him, I sat up half the night listening to the monitor trying to listen for his breathing. With Landon we worked our way up to moving him in to his own room. First with naps then with bedtime. Baby steps. I was comfortable with him in our room, he slept well in there and honestly I was in no hurry for him to grow up. Schedules. With Oliver we did whatever, whenever. He was older when I finally started on some sort of schedule. I read some books, picked out what I liked and applied it to our life. I knew I needed to do something when he would sleep and eat then sleep and eat. There wasn't much 'play' time in there. This time with Landon we implemented that at three weeks. Of course I had realistic expectations and knew that newborns liked to sleep so I was never super strict about it. But I am happy to say that up to this day Landon is a great sleeper and took to the eat, play, sleep schedule well.

9.) Getting out of the house is a challenge. I thought it was difficult with one kid. I remember Oliver's first doctors appointment. He pooped and we forgot the diaper bag at home. THE DIAPER BAG. The nurse laughed handed us a diaper and said, "it happens all the time!" I felt like such a bad mom for forgetting the one main thing {besides the baby} that we needed for him. Now with two kids, it's like a 2 hours ordeal just to get out of the house. If we are invited anywhere, our friends and family realize now that we will be late! And the stuff that we have to take. I feel like a traveling circus. The diaper bag is full to the brim and I always keep extras in the car for just incase moments. For little people they require an awful lot of things!



I was nervous about have two children. The thought of being responsible for two little bodies and making sure that their needs were being met but I am happy to say that it is going better than I ever could of expected. I never realized how easy it was to have just a newborn. A newborn and a toddler is a whole different ballgame and I am not even sure of the rules. If we survive to see another day, I count that as a success in my book. If Oliver eats Eggo waffles for dinner three nights in a row and goes a few days with out a bath I know he is going to be just fine. If Landon is still hanging out in our room or eating oatmeal a few weeks before he turns four months, he will be fine. I am not an expert on raising children, no one is. What works for one, may not work for another, but we all have the same goal in the end and that is to raise happy, healthy, kind children. I am sure I will have more to compare as my boys get older!




12 comments :

  1. You speak the truth! I LOVE this post and it is spot on!

    Hope you have a good weekend! :)

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  2. I can relate and is absolutely true! ! Amazing post!

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  3. The absolute truth! By the time third kiddo came along I had mommy guilt in spades and I was thrilled that this time around the big kids could get themselves their own snack while I fed the baby. Another wonderful post!!

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  4. The first one is SO true. I remember thinking my son was twice the size when I came home from the hospital compared to when I left 24 hours earlier.

    I found milestones to be different the second time around. Waiting with bated breath for everything with my son and we didn't even notice our daughter was rolling until we came into the room and she was on her tummy.

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  5. These are great! # 2 is so, so true. And I think that's why having two turned out to be a little easier than I thought it was going to be. I take shortcuts when I need to, and I know I'm still a great mom (because of # 6). Some days are harder than others, but it's certainly a journey that's filled with joy.

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  6. Good to know! I've always wanted more than one child... (you know after I have one). But you never really think of how things will be different from one to two.

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  7. This is a wonderful post. I'm about to have my second in August. I'm a bit freaked out about this. #4, I think will be my biggest struggle. UGH MAMA GUILT!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that Momma Guilt is difficult. I try to ignore it most of the time and just keep saying "Your kids are happy" sometimes It works, sometimes it doesn't. It's an adjustment for sure - good luck and congrats!! :)

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  8. I completely agree with the Momma guilt and the favorite thing! I always say that the baby will ALWAYS be the favorite because they are perfect little sweet-smelling angels who do nothing but be cute all day long! This is a great post and speaks of things that moms don't always say out loud, which I love!

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  9. This blog entry is my most favorite I have read all day! You are so right. I had to laugh about the fact that you think your toddler is a giant. That is so true. I have 2 boys age 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. When I brought Drew home from the hospital I would have bet that my older son, Jacoby had grown a foot while I was at the hospital delivering. I had forgotten all about those feelings until this post. You totally encompassed everything that I do and feel. I am a new follower via GFC!
    www.cassandrazcorner.blogspot.com

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  10. I read this post a few days ago. I love it Lindsay! I don't have two children yet, and it was a great perspective to see. And I just need to say this for your readers. I know you as a friend & know you are a person of integrity and class. That shows in your writing - keep it up. The people who know the real you know where your intentions lie. There are always two sides to a story. Keeping conflict private unfortunately doesn't allow the other side to be seen publicly, but that is okay because you know the truth and are confident enough to not need the affirmation of others to know it. Keep on blogging. <3

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  11. This is absolute gold! Every word of it so true!

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